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Many people's conception of Organic Chemistry, involves the phrase "It takes a lot of memorizing." On one hand that is true. On the other hand, there is another method that can be used to achieve the same goal of conquering Organic Chemistry. After having taken Organic Chemistry 1 and 2 at the University, I found that Organic Chemistry really is the knowledge of what atoms or atomic structures will do when encountering another set of atoms or atomic structures. Basically, it is just like knowing people and knowing how they deal with other people. Once this level has been reached, the monster commonly called "Orgo" can be conquered.

Atomic Structure

The first thing needed as a foundation for the study of Organic Chemistry, is the knowledge of the structure of the atom. Once you understand the structure of these atoms, it would be good to learn about Lewis Structures. These structures are how molecules are communicated via paper between people. Also discussed here, are units of un saturations.

Common Atoms in Organic Chemistry

Now, here is a listing of the common atoms that are encountered in Orgo. It is a atom-by-atom description of the basic aspects of their behavior.

Molecular Structure

In Orgo, it will be important to recognize certain atomic structures within each molecule and how each structure will react with other structures. Note that this duscussion only defines the structure, but leaves the discussion of reaction to later pages.

Resonance Structures

Unfortunately, one Lewis Structure is not always enough to completely define a molecule. Therefore, Resonance Structures are a useful tool. Isomers and Conformational isomers will also be covered in this page. Another topic of interest that would fall under this category is the topic of Newman Projections. These are really easy and make viewing molecules easy as well. Stereochemistry is another important aspect of knowing how a molecule is structured.

VSEPR and pH/pka tables

Valence Shell Electron P Repulsion is very useful for building the models of molecules. Pka tables are used to list the relative strength of the acidit nature of a Hydrogen atom or the relative basic nature of a molecule. These tables measure the pH as related to water and uses water as its reference point.


Here begin the complicated descriptions of reactions in Organic Chemistry. The first reactions to be discussed are the the Lewis Acid/Base reaction and the Bronstead Acid/Base reaction . Another pair of important reactions to consider is the Electrophilic Addition Reaction and the Nucleophilic Substitution Reaction.


As with everything, each molecule needs a name. Fortunately, there is a specific system used by chemists when naming molecules. The complete instructions for naming molecules takes up a several hundered page book to describe. Here is a list of some of the basics.